I met Melissa Friend (AKA Gluten-Free Mimi) several years ago at a gluten-free expo in Raleigh, NC. She had just started selling her gluten-free baked goods to local coffee shops and through direct order. She came by my booth, introduced herself and I was immediately drawn to her. Melissa had such a kind and thoughtful demeanor. We talked about our local gluten-free support groups and our favorite gluten-free things we enjoyed baking.
Several years later Melissa decided to change her business model when her husband was told he needed to eat a lower glycemic diet to stay healthy. She went back to the kitchen and re-worked her favorite muffin recipe to make it both gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, whole grain, AND gum-free (no xanthan gum or guar gum! Do you know how hard that is to find in a baking mix??). She also began experimenting with paleo recipes and creating a paleo "bun" mix, again free of gluten, dairy, and soy.
After many trials Melissa finally created two mixes that she felt could be game-changers. A gluten-free, whole-grain muffin mix, and an easy paleo bun mix.
I had been following Melissa for quite a while on facebook and when her business page hit 200 "likes" I won a bag of her gluten-free, whole grain baking mix. I couldn't wait to try it!
I seem to go through "muffin" spells... I won't bake them for months and then out of nowhere I'll make them for weeks on end and not get tired of them! I love muffins because they are easy, in perfect portions, and and I've always been someone who preferred the cake to the frosting, so muffins are sort of healthy cake in disguise right?
Well with this gluten-free baking mix, they definitely are!
The instructions are super simple! Simply add: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup applesauce, and 1 cup pumpkin puree to the dry ingredients. Scoop the batter into a paper-lined muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. This mix makes 12 good-size muffins (and could easily make 24 mini-muffins, if you would prefer!)
I knew immediately that the mix would be versatile. Since there are no added flavorings or spices, you can customize these muffins with the ingredients you have on hand!
- Want banana nut muffins? Use 1 cup of mashed bananas instead of pumpkin puree and add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
- Want chocolate chip muffins? Stir in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the batter.
- Want lemon blueberry muffins? Stir in 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest into the batter.
- Want zucchini spice muffins? (Great way to use up too many zucchini!) Substitute 1 cup freshly shredded zucchini in place of the pumpkin puree. Add 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 2 tablespoons water to the batter.
When I decided to make the muffins I had two super ripe bananas that needed to be used. So I used the bananas in place of the pumpkin puree and then added about 1/4 cup sliced almonds and 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter. Then I baked as directed. Easy peasy!
Michael loved the banana chocolate chip muffins and we love the crunch that sliced almonds add to baked goods.
I would highly recommend using this easy gluten-free baking mix from Gluten-Free Mimi. It's very hard to find gluten-free mixes that are not primarily made from high glycemic starches such as white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. I love that this mix contains buckwheat flour, millet flour, and even teff flour! These wonderful dense grains almost give these muffins a delicious "bran" flavor! Yet they are "light" enough to even please picky palates (such as my husbands!) I also just LOVE that Melissa does not include "gums" in this mix. For those who are sensitive to guar gum or xanthan gum, this mix is just for you! (Melissa uses flax seeds to help give these lovlies their wonderful texture, instead of the gums!)
Gluten-Free Mimi is also working on a low glycemic coconut flour mix, so there will be many more options from her store in the future! Right now you can purchase mixes directly from her site: http://www.glutenfreemimi.com/ (check here for the shopping page: http://www.glutenfreemimi.com/products-and-recipes/ -> scroll to the bottom to add to your shopping cart and order!)
I hope to try the paleo baking mix in the next few weeks. When I do, I'll let you know how they turn out! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome mix with me Melissa!